Upon request from the Government of Azerbaijan, a delegation from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) carried out a visit to Baku on 2-3 June 2016 in order to discuss the modalities of a potential bid for World Expo 2025.
The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, met with Abulfas Garayev, the Minister for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and with Anar Alakbarov, the Executive Director of the Haydar Aliyev Foundation. The discussions focused on the process to follow to submit a candidacy as well as the regulations governing the preparation and execution of a World Expo. Also known as “registered exhibitions”, World Expos take place every five years and last for up to six months. The last World Expo took place in Milan in 2015, while BIE member states have elected Dubai to host the next World Expo in 2020.
In accordance with BIE regulations, the government of a country wishing to organise a World Expo can only submit its candidature a maximum of nine years and a minimum of six years before the opening date of that Expo, but once a candidate files its bid to the BIE for an Expo, the other candidates have a maximum of six months to state their intention to compete for the same Expo.
Azerbaijan has been a member of the BIE since 2008, but its first Expo participation since independence was at Expo 2000 in Hannover. The Azerbaijani pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan, which focused around the country’s status as a meeting point between East and West, was dubbed ‘Treasure of Biodiversity’ and attracted over 3 million visitors.
Situated on the edge of the Caspian Sea, Baku is the largest city in the Caucasus region with a population of 2.1 million. The city hosted the inaugural European Games in 2015 and it has been selected as one of the 13 hosts for the the UEFA Euro 2020 football championship.